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Things to do in London in October 2021

London celebrates its food and drink scene, while Halloween showcases the capital's spooky side – just some of the many October events in London.
London panorama above golden trees.
Roam London's Richmond Park, as it is covered in autumnal colours. Credits: Jon Reid. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.

What's on in London in October?

London becomes a little colder in October as autumn splashes the city’s parks and gardens with a riot of autumnal colours, changing the vivid greens to warm coppers, golds and russet reds. 

Take a trip to Kew GardensRichmond Park or other major parks, London's largest open spaces, to bask in the beautiful display of colours, and celebrate the season in cosy spots.

British schools break up for a October half-term, so look out for special family activities at many London attractions.

Fun family events in London

  • Take your pick from fun events and activities at London attractions during October half-term16-31 Oct
  • Entertain the kids and make lifelong memories at these top kids attractions.
  • Book these iconic top 10 attractions, for a fun-tastic family day out in the capital.
  • Sing along with the kids and enjoy your favourite shows on stage at these top musicals.
  • Don't miss skating under thousands of twinkling lights at the National History Museum Ice Rink as it returns for its final festive year.
  • See larger-than-life illuminature on the nature-inspired light trail at London Wetland Centre. From 22 Oct
  • Get active and meet sporting heroes at KidZania's Middlesex County Cricket Club Experience. 19-28 Oct
  • Pick up a paintbrush and get creative with art, drama and play at Family Art Day, part of The Bloomsbury Festival. 16 Oct
  • Adventure-seekers can join forces for an immersive treasure hunt, solving cryptic clues and discovering London's hidden secrets.

A family of three looking at an illuminated owl on the light trail after-dark

Unmissable London events in October 

  • Enjoy fun events throughout Black History Month, which celebrates black culture and history throughout October each year. 1-31 Oct
  • Join talks, readings, poetry performances and more events with the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre. 21-31 Oct
  • Catch films and movie-themed fun at the BFI London Film Festival. 6-17 Oct
  • Meet artists, engineers and designers during London Craft Week. 4-10 Oct
  • Celebrate Diwali the festival of lights and enjoy performances and cultural activities in Trafalgar Square. 23 Oct 

A man dressed in traditional clothing with flower garlands around his neck, at the Diwali festival, while other performers dance in the background.

  • Discover what space travel is really like with fascinating insights from astronaut Tim Peake at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre. 30 Oct
  • Test your fitness as you sprint past London landmarks or join thousands cheering from the sidelines at the Virgin Money London Marathon. 3 Oct
  • Watch top cyclists speed around the track at the Six Day London cycling event in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 26-31 Oct
  • Run for great causes in the leafy surrounds of London's beautiful parks at the Royal Parks Half Marathon. 10 Oct
  • Touchdown at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and cheer on your favourite team as NFL London Games return. 10-17 Oct

Halloween in London

Celebrate Halloween in London with an array of themed events, from family activities at museums to spooky London tours and frightening events. Explore eerie ways to celebrate with our picks of the best things to do in London this Halloween

Woman in a pie shop on Halloween

Theatre shows in London

Art and museum exhibitions in London

  • Get your cultural fix when it's cold outside at the best museum exhibitions and art exhibitions in the capital.
  • Discover world-class artworks and sculptures at Frieze art fairs, in the beautiful setting of Regent's Park. 13-17 Oct
  • ...And visit galleries open late to admire artworks from rising stars and big names during Frieze's West End Night14 Oct
  • See 500 years of history captured across five royal dynasties in Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits at the National Maritime Museum. Until 31 Oct
  • Don't miss the dazzling neon sculptures of Chila Burman's “do you see words in rainbows” art installation emblazoned in Covent GardenUntil 31 Oct
  • Be intrigued by The Great Picture Book of Everything, an illustrated encyclopedia by the famous Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai at The British Museum. 30 Sep-30 Jan

A print work Under the Wave off Kanagawa, by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, featured in the exhibition, Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything.

For more things to do in October in London, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London. Or discover plenty more seasonal events and activities with our ultimate guide to autumn in London.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see this London weather page.

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